EXCLUSIVE: 10m Ba bill! Star striker Demba can leave Newcastle for bargain fee
Demba Ba has put England's top clubs on red alert when it emerged he has a 10million release clause in his Newcastle contract.
Ba has stunned the Barclays Premier League after scoring 15 goals for Alan Pardew's side since his summer move from West Ham.
The Senegal striker negotiated the clause when he signed a three-year deal worth 40,000 a week after quitting Upton Park following their relegation.
Bargain: Demba Ba (left) has made a huge impact since his free transfer
Ba, who is the Premier League's second top scorer behind Robin van Persie, was named Barclays Player of the Month for December.
New Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill won the manager's award.
Ba confirmed his class when he scored the first goal in Newcastle's 3-0 demolition of champions Manchester United on Wednesday.
The 26-year-old arrived in England after quitting German club Hoffenheim last January and was a popular figure with West Ham fans during their failed bid to stay in the Premier League.
He signed for Newcastle in the summer, but has now left the country to play in the Africa Cup of Nations with club-mate Cheick Tiote, who will star for the Ivory Coast.
Inspirational: Ba scored as Newcastle beat Manchester United this week
There have been long-standing fears over an injury to his right leg that Ba first sustained with Belgian club Mouscron, but he has regained full mobility.
Surgeons hammered a 25cm nail into his leg as part of the operation to save his career and there were fears he would not be able to play again.
However, he made a startling recovery, and although he is sometimes in mild discomfort, it has not stopped him becoming one of the most talked about names in Europe.
Please don't go: Ba's exit would be a big blow for Alan Pardew (right)
Although Newcastle have no intention of allowing Ba to leave, he could trigger the release clause in his contract if a top club matched the figure.
He negotiated a similar clause when he moved to West Ham and was able to quit on a free transfer when they were relegated to the Championship.
Meanwhile, ITV4 have announced they will cover the Africa Cup of Nations with a combined package of highlights and live coverage of one quarter-final, one semi-final and the final.